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Bringing Commercial Real Estate Tax Services into the 21st Century

Ross Litkenhous and Heidi Gilbert

One area that has consistently caused me heartache at every single company I have worked at is the lack of or inability to offer a property tax technology solution to clients that works well, adds value, and isn’t more trouble to use than it’s worth. Sure, there are plenty of “portals” and “systems” that allow clients to pull a standard report or see a tax bill, but compared to the digital experiences offered to customers in other industries they’re all duds.

I’ll be the first to admit… not every client needs or wants applications like that. But what the property tax industry should offer is technology that is accessible, pragmatic, and seamless. The following are a list of questions you’ll likely ask when a property tax provider demonstrates their “portal” or “system” to you during their pitch.

1. Is this available through a mobile application? And are the files mobile optimized?

2. Can I securely transfer information and documents to you through this system?

3. What’s the learning curve to use it effectively?

And that’s just the client facing side. What’s more troubling is the lack of innovation inside the companies that provide real estate tax services.

Real estate assessments are an exercise in real estate valuation. Plain and simple. Different guard rails apply in some areas but for the most part you are deriving a value based on basic appraisal methodology. Appraisals require data and the world is awash in data! With more data, you can build better tools and provide better results – creating a better customer experience to boot.

It’s a founding principle of Cavalry: revolutionize a stagnant industry with better technology on the front and back ends.

Here are our simple answers to the questions above – and they’re why our digital client hub outpaces the competition.

1. Yes and yes. You can access your mobile-optimized files anywhere on the device of your choice.

2. Yes. And we’ll be notified anytime you upload information and you’ll be alerted when new information is available.

3. If you can download it from the app store, you can use it – no special training required.

As for data, we’re collecting it! And we’re using it to streamline processes and provide more accurate tax valuations and quicker appeals. That means we spend less people-hours on each engagement, allowing us to charge you a lower fee than our competitors. Imagine that: a better customer experience, more money saved, and lower fees – all made possible by the smart use of customer-facing tech and back-end data processing.

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